The Amherst Industrial Development Agency approved $640,000 in tax breaks Friday for a project that will allow Dent Neurological Group to expand its Sheridan Drive medical facilities.
The incentives will allow Dent to expand its operations in the Dent Tower on Sheridan Drive into a 24,000-square-foot addition that it will share with the University at Buffalo neurosurgery unit.
"We've had this vision for years," said Dr. Laszlo Mechtler, Dent's managing partner.
The $6.1 million expansion, which will be built on part of the existing facility's parking lot, will allow Dent to add a spinal treatment center, while adding additional space for surgery and rehabilitation, as well as therapy and exercise facilities.
The facility also will feature more sophisticated and powerful imaging equipment, which currently is available at only two other medical facilities in the Buffalo Niagara region, Mechtler said.
The expansion is expected to allow Dent to create about 38 new jobs. Dent moved into the six-story building that previously was home to the Key Financial Center four years ago and has seen its practice grow to the point where it now handles about 80,000 patients a year, Mechtler said.
John Yurtchuk, whose Sheridan Properties II is developing the project, said the tax breaks will make the project more affordable.
Another Yurtchuk venture, Sheridan Equity Partners, was granted $121,601 in sales tax breaks by the IDA on Friday through a refinancing that will provide the developer with nearly $2.8 million in new capital. Yurtchuk plans to continue renovations of the existing 75,0000-square-foot Dent Building into medical offices.
The Dent Building is located within one of Amherst's redevelopment zones. The expansion project is expected to generate an estimated $1.1 million in additional county, town and school taxes during the 10-year abatement period.
In another matter, the IDA said it aided 30 projects this year that generated $171.6 million in investment, while creating 1,057 jobs and retaining 1,626 others. The biggest project was CitiGroup's back-office expansion project, which will create or retain more than 1,000 jobs.
The agency, in its annual survey of local businesses, said 55 of the 873 companies it contacted indicated that they plan to expand within the next two years. If those plans come to fruition, they could create nearly 1,100 new jobs and lead to the demand for 327,000 square feet of additional space.